Australia’s Cale Barrett will be offered a coveted two-year World Snooker Tour card following his triumph in the 2020 Oceania Snooker Championship at the Mounties Club in Sydney.
Organised by the Oceania Billiards and Snooker Federation, a total of 60 players competed for the continental title with representation from the host nation, New Zealand and Fiji.
Tasmanian cueist Barrett began his campaign by easing through to the knockout phase of the competition after qualifying top of his group with four wins from four. However, he found himself in trouble during the last 32 when he trailed Paul Thomerson by a couple of frames before constructing breaks of 76 and 62 to turn it around and progress 3-2. More routine victories arrived over Ron Tulloch (4-0) and Rob Elsey (4-1), then the 23-year-old overcame experienced former winner Joe Minici 5-3 in the semi-finals.
Barrett’s opponent in the final was fellow countryman Shaun Dalitz, who had ended the hopes of recent World Snooker Federation Open quarter-finalist and Challenge Tour regular Ryan Thomerson in the last four.
A keen trophy contest was expected but didn’t materialise. Barrett dominated early on; a run of 54 helped him take the opener before he claimed the next four frames to lead 5-0 – just one away from the title. To his credit Dalitz avoided the whitewash, but Barrett completed the task in frame seven with the aid of a 60 break to confirm a 6-1 scoreline and secure the prestigious championship for the first time. He joins a list of former winners that includes Neil Robertson.
Hassan Kerde – eliminated by Dalitz in the last eight – constructed the highest break of the tournament with a 120 during the groups stage.
2020 Oceania Snooker Championship – results from the quarter-finals
Roger Farebrother 3-4 Ryan Thomerson
Shaun Dalitz 4-2 Hassan Kerde
Cale Barrett 4-1 Rob Elsey
Tyson Crinis 2-4 Joe Minici
Thomerson 3-5 Dalitz
Barrett 5-3 Minici
Dalitz 1-6 Barrett
Continental Accolades for Dunham, Turner and Cullen
Preceding the main event at the same venue, recent professional player Kurt Dunham won the Oceania 6-Red Championship for a third year in a row.
The Melbourne ace emerged through the pack, defeating former world number 18 Dene O’Kane from New Zealand 5-3 in the final. The successful title defence means that Dunham will return to the SangSom 6-Red World Championship in Thailand later this year as the Oceania representative.
Earlier in the month at the Tauranga Citizens Club in New Zealand, the Oceania Under-21 and Women’s Championships were held.
Cody Turner (NZ) got the better of Marc Fridman (Australia) 6-1 in the final to win the under-21 title, while Kimberley Cullen overcame fellow Kiwi Nita Clarkson 3-0 to conclude the women’s event.